The last couple years I have been fascinated with Brazil and have been wanting to go there. I'm going to try and make it to Rio's Carnaval early next year.
Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World. The Rio Carnaval is not only the biggest Carnival benchmark against which every other carnival is compared but also one of the most interesting artistic events on the Globe. Foreign visitors to it alone number around 500,000 every year.
Rio Carnival is a wild 4 day celebration, 40 days before Easter. It officially starts on Saturday and finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday after which one is supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures. Carnival with all its excesses, celebrated as a profane event, can thus be considered an act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh. It usually happens in February, the hottest month in the Southern Hemisphere, when the Rio summer is at its peak.